Young Entrepreneurs Succeed, YES! Workshop in Bologna

Bologna, May 25th and 26th 2023

Young entrepreneurs succeed, YES! Workshop in Bologna

On May 25th and 26th, Microfinanza organized the 7th Workshop of YES! – Young Entrepreneurs Succeed project in Bologna.

Katia Raguzzoni from Microfinanza opened the Workshop by presenting the project’s challenges and goals in this final stage from the Italian point of view.

Yiorgos Alexopoulos, coordinator and lead partner of the project for the Agricultural University of Athens, opened the discussion on some key aspects of the implementation of the project. Through YES!, the partners had the opportunity to work with a wide range of local partners, with thousands of neets, by using a holistic approach to understand Neets’ needs in terms of training, job orientation, accompaniment to business creation, mentoring, in almost all sectors of the labor market.

The project enabled the development of partners’ networking by expanding the services and activities of the partner facilities to other regions, specifically among the less developed ones, involving different and new target groups. The project’s partners need to capitalize on these experiences and territorial partnerships for future projects. Therefore, the project went through many external difficulties, and It was able to adapt and rethink activities for better effectiveness.

In the second part of the Workshop, Cristiana Gaita, representing the Found Operator, offered a comparison of the different approaches of the partners focusing on the impact of the project, how it was measured, the relevance of the activities proposed, and how the partners were able to deal with the different difficulties encountered on the way.

The second day of the Workshop was introduced by Giampietro Pizzo, president of Microfinanza, who presented some data about the condition of Neet in Italy, trying to draw new perspectives of the project and propose new answer to the phenomenon of Neets that in Italy, as in other EU countries is continuing to grow.

Gianluca Bombarda, director of the EEA & Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment, presented some of the Fund’s achievements and perspectives, announcing the leading themes of the next FO program, with the same objective to reduce the social and economic gap of vulnerable groups, economically marginalized regions and underfinanced sectors.

Laimomo, Cefal, Educativa di strada, and Bangheran, some territorial partners, operating in the Emilia Romagna region, that work with the same target group, have been invited to the Workshop. They presented their approach with young people, nonformal education, access to digital skills, “remotivation” of young people through training, and insertion into the world of work. The experiences presented were implemented in urban and rural contexts, and disadvantaged neighborhoods, involving very different target groups of young people.

One of the common elements that emerged in the discussion was the need to create permanent territorial services, providing support to Neets on an ongoing basis without being tied to a project logic. It is essential to start from a dialogue with territorial operators and employment agencies and coordinate the services that already exist in the territory regarding job orientation, accompaniment to business creation and training.

During our experience on the YES! project, we have seen the importance of providing services tailored to the beneficiaries, pathways capable of adapting to the labor market and young people with the potential present in the territories.

The next Workshop of the project will be in Barcelona!


The EEA and Norway Grants represent the contribution of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to reduce economic and social disparities and to strengthen bilateral relations with 15 EU countries in Central and Southern Europe and the Baltics.

For the period 2014-2021, the total contribution is €2.8 billion (EEA Grants €1.5 billion and Norway Grants €1.3 billion).

Under the EEA Agreement, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are part of the European internal market. The EEA Agreement sets out the common goal of working together to reduce social and economic disparities.

⇒ READ MORE about the implementation of the YES! project in Italy

The Scaling trust-based partnership models to recharge youth entrepreneurship: Supporting underserved communities with innovative entrepreneurship support instruments (TPM-RYE) project, benefits from €2,3M grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment. The aim of the programme is to activate unemployed youth to access the labour market and promote entrepreneurship.


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